Well, I guess the problem is that I have no faith. I'm not without hope, and I'm not without trust, but I don't believe in unconditional faith in the way that Job or Abraham supposedly had it. Thing is, although faith is irrational (or "arational"? Without rationality?) and potentially dangerous (when used to wield power over others), I can't argue that faith is wrong or bad, because it's not a voluntary state of being. You either have faith in something or you don't. I don't.
I also cannot claim that faith is bad for people, because it's not. True: if you place your faith in the wrong hands, you can be led to believe absurdities, cause harm, and be exploited (you know... like if you're John Travolta. Goddamn, his poor son). But there are loads of studies that show that people with religious faith tend to be happier in their lives. Faith gives people a sense of order within the universe, when all evidence suggests that we are living in a tumult of perpetual chaos.
Ultimately, it depends on the object of your faith, and on the choices you make as a result. Living in shame for the sins of humanity is a miserable way to be. Living in hate for the sins of humanity, also pretty nasty. But if you have faith that humanity will be redeemed; or that the unjust will be punished by the turning wheel of life; that there is purpose to your existence; or a cosmic truth to be revealed - you will benefit from some sense of peace at "knowing" that.
I suppose, although there's something to be gained from it, I feel angry at the many negative consequences of faith in the world. There are people who believe they have a greater purpose on this earth, and so strap bombs to their bodies or take guns to abortion clinics. There are people who believe that the "truth" lies outside of science, and so attempt to heal their dying children by praying over them. There are people who believe that they have a right to judge and hurt and restrict and abuse certain people, because there is a higher power who disapproves of those people. Those "certain people" have been women, blacks, Irish Protestants, Irish Catholics, Jews, Muslims, the disabled, the mentally ill, people of science and medicine, homosexuals, Christians, and their small, bewildered and uncomprehending children.
The problem as I see it is that the very irrationality of faith makes it a perfect vehicle for the gaining of illegitimate power.
I recently found a Voltaire quote that goes some way to explaining what I mean:
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.Some of those atrocities involve bombs and bloody sieges. But most of the time, they involve simple cruelty, unjustified prejudice, and acts that place the requirements of spirituality above the needs of the human beings around them.